In the evening, she gracefully dons a beautiful gown, taking a moment for herself. Adorned and confident in high heels, she prepares for a night at the opera, choosing to go alone. She revels in the solitude, finding fulfillment in the music that surrounds her. As the protagonist of her own life, she embraces the evening with only herself, the enchanting melodies, and the night. Amidst the allure of her surroundings, she discovers beauty in every detail, captivated by moments of silence and keen observation. Engaging in artistic pursuits like drawing and reading, she breathes in the essence of life. Unconstrained by societal expectations, she lives authentically, even if her choices are not always understood by her friends.
Nini, a twenty-one-year-old originally from Georgia, moved to Switzerland at the age of sixteen, viewing her life through the lens of a cinematic narrative. Indeed, her journey closely mirrors the dramatic arc of a film. From the initial prognosis in her mother's womb that deemed her survival improbable, Nini defied the odds. The circumstances surrounding her condition prompted their relocation to Geneva—mother and daughter united in their unique circumstance. Despite medical predictions that suggested she wouldn't walk, Nini defies these limitations. Every first Sunday of the month, she embarks on a captivating exploration of the city's museums, strolling along the lake, and attentively observing the urban landscape. In this narrative that unfolds against the backdrop of adversity, Nini's resilience transforms her life into a compelling story of triumph and exploration.
Amidst her visits to the doctor and a series of surgeries spanning five years, she embarked on a part-time journey to learn French at home. These moments of linguistic exploration became more than a pursuit of language; they provided her with valuable time for introspection, allowing her to ponder her aspirations and desires for the future. In the midst of medical challenges, this period served as a transformative window, affording her the opportunity to not only acquire a new language but also to truly understand and shape the vision of the future she longed for.
"Knowledge is also a way to know oneself." Nini
As Nini herself would attest, she is a person of seriousness, stability and unwavering determination, with clearly defined goals. Her passions are a source of personal enjoyment, while her professional focus is on ensuring security. Nini is clear about her ambitions: a career in banking is her ultimate goal.
While at school, her teacher recommended confidence-building workshops for the class, and Nini, ever enthusiastic about learning, readily agreed. These workshops happened to be conducted by the Yojoa team, and through this encounter, Nini found a platform to affirm her choices. A few months down the line, the Yojoa team extended an internship opportunity to her at BNP Paribas, marking the beginning of her journey into the world of banking.
"The responsibility lies with me to choose the way forward, to align my actions with the way I live. I am at peace with myself. - Nini
Ah, but guess what?" She had grown accustomed to hearing these words over and over again. "And why shouldn't I know?" she replies. Such situations prompt her to look inward. She wants to convey that her knowledge extends beyond her place of birth, challenging the assumption that being from somewhere else means a lack of understanding. She questions the tendency to compartmentalise and fixate on specific dates, emphasising the diversity among us. In her view, judgement of others should be reserved until we truly understand them.
But it takes more than that to shake her. At twenty-one, Nini remains deeply in touch with herself, free and confident. Her journey towards business school continues, wrapped in the realms of music, art and leisurely walks.
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Self-portrait, Nini, July 2023, Geneva.